A great many patients are represented in this book, usually through a question they asked or a
concern they expressed. Some were the patients undergoing operations such as Neils,
who contributed much knowledge through their cooperation. We thank them all for their
contributions to our understanding of the difficult issues concerning the relationship between
brain and mind with which this book has been concerned.
The book is hardly comprehensive. A personal selection is closer to the truth, and
the selection was considerably biased by the problems of constructing a story suitable for general
readers. Our editor, William Patrick, was of great help in steering us to the narrative voice which
we finally adopted. We must also thank our colleagues who helped straighten us out on various
matters: Katherine Graubard, Linda Moretti Ojemann, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Derek Bickerton,
Susan Goldin-Meadow, John Palka, Elizabeth Loftus, Merle Prim, and Mark Sullivan. We are
grateful to our more general readers who suffered through rough drafts and flagged the bumps in
the road: they include Blanche Graubard, Agnes Calvin, David and Joan Ojemann, Daryl
Hochman, Steven Ojemann, Ann-Elizabeth Ojemann, Eric K. Williams, Douglas W.
vanderHoof, Diane Brown, Linda Castellani (to whom we owe the title of Chapter 3), Elaine
Sweeney, Susan McCarthy, Betty Kamen, Albert Geiser, Randall Tinkerman, Patrizia DiLucchio,
Richard Raucci, Lena M. Diethelm, and various fellow passengers on long airline flights.
A Note for the Professionals: You may have wondered about how one patient managed to
participate in so many different tests, or happened to personify the classic teaching-case features
of complex partial seizures. That is because Neil is not merely a pseudonym but a
composite (and should not be cited in the manner of a case report) of several temporal lobe
epileptics who cannot be further identified, for all the usual reasons of patient confidentiality. He
is a somewhat different composite than the Neil of our first book, Inside the
Brain. We often reconstructed patients, usually by subtracting complications
from the account of an actual patient but also by adding typical features not seen in that patient.
Indeed, the only unaltered case report is one contributed by Dr. C: the alexia suffered by his
father, the late Fred H. Calvin.
Only the surgeons among the readership may have noticed our other literary liberty: the case of
the disappearing resident. Dr. C was indeed the third pair of sterile hands on
dozens of occasions, but he often observed that the second pair obstructed his view of the brain.
The assistant surgeon was also in the way in a literary sense as we planned this
book. Playwrights are always sending an actor offstage on some errand, leaving two actors
remaining, so that dialogue is simplified; in a narrative, a three-way conversation is even more
awkward than in a script. When we finally realized that Dr. C was going to have to serve as the
sole narrator and report what Dr. O said, we decided to avoid the dialogue problems of including
the resident in the conversations and simultaneously promote the readers eyes
and ears to having an unobstructed view. So we dispatch the resident on an errand in the first act,
only to have her return in the Shakespearian manner near the end. Otherwise, the clinical cases
and the O.R. details are within the range seen in contemporary neurosurgery.